Sir Arthur Evans and the Jarn projects

One man’s quest to enhance and preserve the natural beauty that is Boars Hill

Sir Arthur Evans was an English archaeologist and pioneer in the study of Aegean civilisation in the Bronze Age. He is famous for unearthing the palace of Knossos on the Greek Island of Crete. Evans lived on Boars Hill from 1894 until his death in 1941 and during that time was involved with a significant amount of land in the area including Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, Matthew Arnold Field, Jarn Field and Jarn Heath. Evans was keen for the area to be preserved from development, maintaining its beauty for others to enjoy. So, in 1929 OPT bought the Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, Matthew Arnold Field and Jarn Field. Evens later bequeathed Jarn Heath to OPT.

Jarn Mound

During his time at Boars Hill, Arthur Evans had Jarn Mound built (by hand), to create a lookout for people to enjoy a better view of the famous vistas – namely the Berkshire and Wiltshire Downs which had been hidden by development. The Mound stands 50 feet high (giving it a height above sea level of 530 feet) and took 20 men 34 months to complete.

Jarn Wild Gardens

Evans laid out the Jarn Wild Gardens. He used a strip of land running along Jarn Way and behind houses to the Ridgeway to form a Wild Garden for British plants. In 2016 a monthly OPT volunteer programme helped to restore many areas of the garden, which were decaying. A generous donation from an OPT member who asked to remain anonymous part-funded a post and rail fence inside the garden hedge along Jarn Way to deter walkers and horse riders from pushing through the hedge.